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Liverpool 1, Rubin Kazan 1: First Thoughts

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Three points were ripe for the taking, and when Kazan went down a man that outcome felt likely. However, the finishing monkey just won't get off Liverpool's back and the night ended with another disappointing draw.

Michael Regan/Getty Images

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Liverpool 1: Can 37'
Rubin Kazan 1: Devic 15'

  • Pre-match thoughts: Klopp has seemingly done the impossible: made me interested in a Europa League group stage match. Hopefully the home crowd--especially vociferous because of the lack of traveling supporters--will give the new boss a memorable first of many Anfield European Nights™. The only change in the starting XI is Allen in for Lucas. Benteke and Firmino both make the bench, and I'm already excited about the prospect of seeing them get a run out under Klopp.
  • Anfield is rockin' tonight! Great to have some atmosphere back in the old stadium.
  • Oh God, that wasn't supposed to happen. Kazan open scoring against the run of play as Skrtel is caught out of position to stop a long ball into the box. The long-serving Slovakian defender might not last long under the new boss.
  • Stop me if you've heard this one before, but: too many outside-the-box shots by Coutinho. Really killing our momentum.
  • Can draws a second yellow out of Kuzmin, who is sent off after two bookable offenses...Aaaand he immediately draws Liverpool level off of a knocked down header in the box on the subsequent free kick. Is this what "fighting back" feels like?
  • Halftime: Not exactly how we expected the first 45 to go, with Rubin Kazan producing the two best chances of the match. However, unlike squads under the last regime, these Reds pushed on and fought back. Can had what was easily his best minute in red, getting Kuzmin sent off and following it up with a scrappy goal on the ensuing free kick. After going down a man, Kazan started playing very deep. It might be an exercise in unparking the bus in the second half.
  • Lucas on for Allen at the half. Probably a good move, judging from what we've seen so far.
  • Good news: lots of chances being created and it's all one-way traffic going Liverpool's way. Bad news: still the same story in the attacking third, with many chances left wanting.
  • Benteke on for Coutinho. Interesting decision, one we certainly never would have seen under Rodgers.
  • Benteke hits one off the far post. It's just starting to feel like one of those all-to-familiar days where we just can't find a winner.
  • Full Time: Yup. One of those nights. The atmosphere was back at Anfield, but so was Liverpool's poor finishing. Huge missed opportunity for the Reds, as they fall farther behind group leaders FC Sion.
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    We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.